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Smartphone app found effective in helping people quit smoking

Photo by BSIP/UIG/Getty/Kyodo. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

TOKYO, May 30, 2019, Kyodo. A Japanese university and a medical venture said Thursday a smartphone app they have developed has proved effective in helping people stay away from smoking. Keio University and CureApp Inc. said they plan to obtain government approval for the app as a medical tool possibly next spring so its use in fighting nicotine addiction can be covered under the public medical insurance system, reported the Kyodo.

The app enables a patient to record the levels of carbon monoxide in their breath, measured with a separate device, as well as other health conditions. The app also provides medical advice suiting their conditions.

The Tokyo-based entities conducted trials of the app targeting some 570 people who sought medical help at 31 medical institutions in the country from October 2017 to the end of 2018.

They found that 64 percent of the group of patients that used the app was smoke-free six months later, some 13 percentage points higher than the group that did not, they said.

By offering support outside hospitals, the app mentally helps patients fight the lonely battle against nicotine addiction, they said.

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